By: Ben Brady
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri Tigers’ seven game win streak was ended in game 1 of a doubleheader Saturday against the University of Chicago-Illinois Flames, 4-2. Sophomore pitcher Tanner Houck (2-1) got his first loss of the season coming in with a 0.60 ERA. Houck gave up three earned runs (four total), raising his ERA to 1.64 on the year.
The Tigers would get the early lead off of infielder Shane Benes’ single that brought home Connor Brumfield. After that, the Missouri offense became stagnant, only scoring one more run in the fifth.
Houck dealt early, posting scoreless innings in the first and second inning. In the top of the third, the Flames offense came alive. A wild pitch and a hit-by-pitch put runners on first and second for UIC. Outfielder Joe Rossi’s RBI single into right field knotted the score at one, and outfielder Scott Ota’s two-RBI single to center field extended UIC’s lead to 3-1.
Flames pitcher Jake Dahlberg had a great game throwing 95 pitches, giving up seven hits and two earned runs in seven innings of play.
Starting off the fifth, a base hit to right, sac bunt and a groundout advanced the runner to third base. A costly error by shortstop Ryan Howard brought the runner home, extending UIC’s lead to 4-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, Mizzou responded with back-to-back singles from Zach Lavy and Ian Nelson that put runners on first and third. Brumfield drove in Lavy by a fielder’s choice groundout to make Mizzou’s deficit 4-2.
It would not matter, as UIC pitchers kept Missouri’s offense scoreless for the last four innings to earn their fourth victory of the season.
In the second game, the Tiger offense scored 10 runs in the first four innings to beat the Flames 10-5. The win brought Missouri’s record to 10-3, and dropped UIC’s record to 4-6.
The Flames got off to a hot start scoring two runs off of senior pitcher Austin Tribby. Ricardo Ramirez’s two-RBI triple gave UIC the 2-0 lead, and Tribby would quickly retire the next three batters.
The Tigers’ offense finally came alive in the bottom of the first. Back to back singles from Brumfield and Howard and a Jake Ring walk loaded the bases with no outs. Then Benes’ two-RBI ripper down the middle tied the game at two. Brian Sharp then singled into left field to bring home Ring. Benes scored on a fielder’s choice and Trey Harris hit a sacrifice fly to complete the five-run first inning.
This would not be Missouri’s last five-run inning, as they tacked on five more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ring opened it up with a two-RBI triple down the first base line. The Tigers loaded the bases and Harris’ three-RBI double down the left field line cleared the bases. Missouri finished the inning with a commanding 10-3 lead over the Flames.
Tribby had a decent outing, going five and two-thirds innings, throwing 97 pitches and giving up five hits and four earned runs. Cole Bartlett came in relief for the Tigers and only allowed two hits on 12 batters faced.
Mizzou and UIC will finish the four game series Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.